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The  Misha  Tractate  Taanith 


The  Library 

rom  the  Theodore  E.  Cummin 
Election  of  Hebraica  and  Judai' 

The  Mishna  Tractate 


(On  the  Public  Fasts) 

Translated  from  the  Hebrew  with  brief  annotations 


A.     W.     GREENUP 

St.  John's  Hall,  Highbury. 



The  Mishna  Tractate 


(On  the  Public  Fasts) 

Translated  from  the  Hebrew  with  brief  annotations 


A.     W.     GREENUP 

St.  John's  Halt,  Highbury. 



Printed  at 

Palestine  House, 

58,  Bodney  Road,  London,  E.  8. 




I.  From  what  time  do  they  make  mention  of  "the 
power  of  rain  "  ?  l  R.  Eliezer  2  says,  From  the  first 
day  of  the  feast  of  Tabernacles.  R.  Joshua3  says, 
From  the  last  day  of  that  festival.  R.  Joshua  said  to 
him,  Since  rains  are  only  a  sign  of  a  curse  on  that 
festival,4  why  should  mention  be  then  made  of  them  ? 
R.  Eliezer  answered  him,  I  also  did  not  say  that  they 
should  be  expressly  asked  for,  but  that  mention  should 
merely  be  made  of  them  with  the  formula,  "  Who 
causes  the  wind  to  blow  and  the  rain  to  descend  in  its 
season."5  To  this  R.  Joshua  replied,  If  it  be  so,  then 
mention  may  be  made  throughout  the  year. 

1QW)  niTO:  The  manifestation  of  Divine 
power  in  sending  rain  :  cf.  Job  v.  9,  10.  The  ex- 
pression is  inserted  in  the  second  (called  the 
Geburoth)  of  the  eighteen  benedictions. 

2  b.  Hyrcanus.  A  tanna  of  the  second  genera- 
tion, and  a  distinguished  disciple  of  R.  Johanan 
b.  Zakkai,  who  spoke  of  him  as  "  a  lime  cemented 
cistern  that  does  not  lose  a  drop"  (Aboth  II.  10, 
na^B  13NQ  irXP  TD  113).  It  is  said  of  him  that 
he  never  spoke  a  word  which  he  had  not  received 
from  his  teacher  (Succ.  28«).  As  an  expounder 


of  traditional  law  he  became  famous,  and  was 
known  as  "  the  Great "  ( VnJPi ).  He  was  excom- 
municated by  the  Sanhedrim  for  opposing  the 
opinion  of  the  majority  on  a  question  of  Levitical 
uncleanness,  and  thereafter  lived  in  retirement. 
A  famous  saying  of  his  is  :  "  Let  the  honour  of 
thy  friend  be  dear  unto  thee  as  thine  own."  See 
further  Hyman,  Toledoth  Tannaim  ve'Amoraim, 
i.  pp.  161-175. 

3b.  Hanania.  A  contemporary  of  R.  Eliezer, 
and  fellow-pupil  under  R.  Johanan  b.  Zakkai. 
His  opinions  are  cited  one  hundred  and  thirty 
times  in  the  Mishna,  and  evince  him  as  being  a 
faithful  observer  of  the  Law  and  consistently 
opposed  to  extravagant  developments  (cf.  Yalkut 
Shim.  II.  589).  A  famous  saying  of  his  is  :  "An 
evil  eye,  the  evil  nature,  and  hatred  of  mankind 
put  a  man  out  of  the  world"  (Aboth  II.  15).  See 
further  Bacher's  article  \njew.  EncycL  vii.  290,  ff. 

4Cf.  Succ.  II.  9,  and  note  there. 

6  In  the  ninth  benediction,  known  as  the 
"  Blessing  of  the  Years "  (Ber.  V.  2),  the  actual 
prayer  for  rain  is  made  at  appropriate  seasons, 
whereas  in  the  second  mention  only  is  made  of 
God's  power  in  giving  rain.  The  decision  is 
according  to  R.  Joshua  (Maimonides). 

2.  Requests  for  rain  are  not  made  except  near 
the  time  of  rain.1  R.  Jehudah*  says,  He  who  acts 
last  as  reader  of  the  prayers  on  the  last  day  of  the 

feast  of  Tabernacles  makes  mention  of  the  rain,  but 
he  who  reads  first  does  not  do  so2 ;  on  the  first 
day  of  Passover,  he  who  reads  first  makes  mention  of 
it,  but  not  he  who  reads  last.3  How  long  are  requests 
for  rain  made  ?  R.  Jehudah  says,  Till  Passover  has 
gone  by :  R.  Meir4  says,  Till  Nisan5  is  passed,  since 
it  is  said,  And  he  causeth  to  come  down  for  you  the 
rain,  the  former  rain  and  the  latter  rain,  in  the  first 

1  That  is,  as  R.  Jehudah  says,  on  the  last  day 
of  Tabernacles.     The   wind   was   observed   for 
indications  of  the  rain  by  the  pilgrims  gazing  at 
the   smoke   of  the   altar  ;   if  it  inclined  to  the 
North  there  would  be  copious  rain  in  the  coming 
year ;  if  to  the  South  but  little  and  dearth  would 
would  ensue ;  if  to  the  East  all  rejoiced ;  if  to 
the  West  all  were  depressed  (Yoma  2\b\     It 
was  said  that  the  South  winds  brought  no  rain 
after  the    destruction   of   the    second    Temple 
(B.  B.  25^).  *  See  note  2  on  p.  34. 

2  There   were  two   readers   on  Sabbaths  and 
festivals,  the  first  reading  the  morning  prayers, 
the  second  the  Musaf,  or  additional  prayers. 

3  That  is,  "  Who  causeth  the  wind  to  blow  "  is 
said  in  the  benediction  of  the  morning  service, 
but  not  in  the  Musaf. 

4  A  tanna  of  the  third  generation,  styled  "  the 
light  of  the  Law."     Remarkable  for  his  sympathy 
with  all  branches  of  learning  ;  and  for  his  tolerant 

B  2 


attitude  towards  Elisha  b.  Abuyah,  an  apostate 
from  Judaism  (Hag.  15^).  He  lived  up  to  his 
motto,  "  Do  little  business,  but  be  busied  in  the 
Torah :  and  be  lowly  of  spirit  before  all  men  " 
(Aboth  IV.  12  [14]).  See  Jew.  EncycL  viii.,  432  ff., 
Hyman,  op.  cit.,  iii.  865-878. 

5  The  first  month,  Neh.  ii.  I,  Esth.  iii.  7  =  pre- 
exilic  Abib.     Babylonian  Nisannu. 

6  Joel  ii.  23. 

3.  On  the  third  day  of  Marheshvan1  requests  are 
made  for  rain.2  Rabban  Gamaliel3  says,  On  the 
seventh  day  of  that  month,  fifteen  days  after  the 
feast  of  Tabernacles,  that  the  last  of  the  Israelites 
returning  might  reach  the  Euphrates.4 

1  The  eighth  month.   Assyr.  Arahsamnu.     The 
name  is  not  found  in  the  Bible. 

2  In  the  ninth  benediction  orSy  ~p3) : — insertion 
for  rains  applicable  to  the  land  of  Israel  only 
(Rashi,  Succ.  loa). 

8  A  tanna  of  the  second  generation,  grandson 
of  the  Gamaliel  of  Acts  v.  34.  He  terminated 
the  opposition  between  the  schools  of  Shammai 
and  Hillel.  "  The  ends  he  had  in  view  were  the 
abolition  of  old  dissensions,  and  the  prevention 
of  new  quarrels,  and  the  restoration  of  unity 
within  Judaism "  (Bacher).  He  introduced  an 
addition  to  the  Amidah  in  the  form  of  a  prayer 
against  sectarians,  and  the  central  feature  of  the 

Pesah  Haggadah  is  due  to  him.  His  motto  was, 
"  Get  thee  a  teacher,  eschew  that  which  is  doubt- 
ful, and  do  not  multiply  uncertain  tithes  "  (  Aboth 
I.  16).  See  Jew.  Encycl.  v.  560,  ff.  ;  Hyman,  op. 
cit.,  i.  310-318. 

4  That  those  who  come  up  from  a  distance  to 
the  fast  may  be  able  throughout  it  to  remain  in 
Jerusalem  (Succ.  470).  Those  living  beyond  the 
Euphrates  were  exempt  from  the  pilgrimage 

4.  If  the  seventeenth  day  of  Marheshvan  has 
come,  and  the  rains  have  not  come  down,  pious 
individuals1  commence  a  three  days'  fast,2  on  the  pre- 
ceding nights  of  which  they  may  eat  and  drink.  On 
the  fast  days  they  are  permitted  to  engage  in  work, 
to  wash,  to  anoint  themselves,  to  put  on  sandals,  and 
to  perform  the  duty  of  marriage.3 

1  DHTP  Explained  by  R.  Huna  in  the  Gemara 
to  mean  the  rabbis.     But  the  rabbis  taught  that 
every  young  scholar  should  consider  himself  a 
rabbi  for  the  purpose  of  fasting  (Taan.  10^),  and 
that  whoever  was  considered  worthy  of  appoint- 
ment as  manager  of  a  congregation  was  called 
a  yahid  (ib.).     So  TIT  came  to  mean  a  particularly 
pious  individual  as  opposed  to  the  many  (D^tn/ 
cf.  Mark  x.  45). 

2  On    Monday,   Thursday   and    the   following 
Monday  (Maimonides,  Taan.  III.  i). 

5  Cf.  I  Cor.  vii.  3  (TTJV  ofyeiXopevyv  ZVVOLCLV  :  v.l 

5.  If   the   first   day   of  the   month   Kislev1  has 
come,  and  the  rains  have  not  come  down,  the  court  2 
orders   three    fasts3   for    the    congregation,  on    the 
preceding  nights  of  which  they  may  eat  and  drink. 
On  the  fast  days  they  are  permitted  to  engage  in 
work,  to  wash,  to  anoint  themselves,  to  put  on  sandals, 
and  to  perform  the  duty  of  marriage. 

JThe   ninth   month,   Zech.  vii.   i  ;    Neh.  i.   I. 
Assyr.  Kishilivu. 

2  JH  fP3,  the  supreme  court,  the  highest  ecclesi- 
astical and  civil  tribunal,  delegated  some  of  its 
powers  to  the  "  Small  Sanhedrim  "  (piJBp  pirUD)/ 
which  consisted  of  twenty-three  members   and 
a  president  (N^fllB),     It  sat  every  Monday  and 
Thursday,  these   being  the  market-days  (B.  K. 


3  On    Monday,   Thursday  and   the    following 

6.  When  these  days  are  passed  and  no  answer 
to  their  prayers  has  been  given,  the  court  orders  three 
further  fasts  for  the  congregation,  on  the  preceding 
nights  of  which  they  may  eat  and  drink.1     On  the 
fast  days  they  are   prohibited   to   engage  in   work, 
to   anoint   themselves,   to   put   on    sandals,   and    to 
perform  the  duty  of  marriage  ;  and  the  bath-houses 
must  be  closed.     If  these  fast-days  also  pass  without 


any  answer  being  given,  the  court  decrees  seven 
further  fasts  ;  so  that  there  are  in  all  thirteen  for  the 
congregation.  These  seven  are  more  serious  than 
the  former  ones,  for  on  them  the  Shofar  is  sounded, 
and  the  shops  are  closed,  except  that  on  the  second 
day,  towards  nightfall,  they  may  open  the  doors 
somewhat,2  and  on  the  fifth  day  still  more  in  honour 
of  the  Sabbath. 

1  As  they  do  on  the  Day  of  Atonement. 

2  For  the  necessities  of  the  poor.     Only  those 
shops  selling  food  are  referred  to,  others  must 
remain  closed  (Rashi). 

7.  When  these  days  are  passed,  and  no  answer 
to  their  prayers  has  been  given,  they  are  to  do  less 
business,  less  building l  and  planting,2  less  betrothing 
and  marrying,  less  mutual  enquiries  after  health ; 
refraining  from  these  things  like  men  excommuni- 
cated in  the  sight  of  God.3  Pious  individuals  begin 
again  to  fast  till  the  end  of  Nisan.  If  the  rains  come 
down  in  Nisan  it  is  the  sign  of  a  curse,  for  it  is  written, 
Is  it  not  wheat  harvest  to-day?  I  will  call  unto 
Jehovah,  that  He  may  send  thunder  and  rain  ;  and  ye 
shall  know  and  see  that  your  wickedness  is  great, 
which  ye  have  done  in  the  sight  of  Jehovah,  in  asking 
you  a  king.4 

1  Explained  in  the  Gemara  of  the  building 
of  a  house  especially  for  a  son  about  to  be 
married  (Taan.  14^). 


2 "  What    is    meant    by    a    pleasure  -  garden 
hv  nycM)  ?     It  means  putting  up  a  regal 
banqueting  tent  for  one's  son's  wedding  "  (ib.). 

3  Like  men  driven  out  of  God's  presence.     In 
Gen.   xxxvii.   10  13   ~\yx\   is   rendered   by   Targ. 
rra  BJMI. 

4  i  Sam.  xii.  17.     All  the  texts  for  rain  in  this 
chapter  apply  to  the  land  of  Israel   only.      Cf. 
"There  is  no  public  fast  observed  in   Babylon 
except  the  ninth  of  Ab  "  (Pes.  54^) — since  they 
have  there  no  need  of  rain,  and  so  no  occasion 
for  proclaiming  a  fast  (Rashi). 


i.  The  ceremonial  observed  (for  the  last  seven 
fasts)  is :  They  carry  forth  the  ark  into  the  open 
place1  of  the  town,  and  sprinkle  fine  dust  over  it,2  and 
on  the  head  of  the  Nasi,3  and  on  the  head  of  the 
president  of  the  court4  ;  then  each  one  puts  some  on 
his  own  head.  The  oldest  of  them  speaks  before 
them  admonitions  to  penitence :  My  brethren,  it  is 
not  said  of  the  men  of  Nineveh,  And  God  saw  their 
sackcloth  and  their  fast,  but,  And  God  saw  their 
works,  that  they  turned  from  their  evil  way.6  And 
in  the  prophets6  it  says,  Rend  your  heart  and  not 
your  garments,  and  turn  to  Jehovah  your  God.7 


1  Various  reasons  are  given  for  this.    R.  Hiyyah 
b.  Abba  says  :  In  order  that  they  might  say,  We 
have  prayed  privately  and  were  unanswered,  so 
now    we   humiliate    ourselves    publicly.       Resh 
Lakish  says  :  In  order  that  they  might  say,  We 
have  been  banished,  may  such  banishment  be  an 
expiation.      R.  Joshua  b.  Levi  says :    In  order 
that  they  might  say,  We  had  a  hidden  treasure 
but   it   has   been    profaned    by   reason    of    our 
iniquities  (Taan.  160). 

2  Maimonides  says  that  dust  was  sprinkled  also 
over  the  roll  of  the  Law  (Taan.  IV.  i),  whence  it 
would  appear  that  his  Mishna  differed  from  ours. 
"See  Lund's  note  in  loc.  TJ?  hv  nmm  :  Cf.  ei9  ras 
TrXaretas,  Luke  x.  10 ;  xiii.  26  ;  xiv.  21,  etc. 

3  The  chief  of  the  Great  Sanhedrim  and  of  its 
successors  in  Palestinian  places.   See  Jew.  Encycl. 
ix.  171,  f.,  and  Schiirer,  Jew.  People  in  time  of 
Christ  i.  180-184  (Eng.  trans.). 

4  fT  JV3  3N  The  vice-president   of  the  Great 
Sanhedrim.     See  articles  mentioned  in  the  pre- 
vious note. 

5  Jonah  iii.  10. 

6  r6ap3   lit.  "  in  the  Kabbalah."     According  to 
the  Rabbis  the  tradition  passed  from  Moses  and 
Joshua  to  the  Prophets :  cf.  Moed  Kat.  1 1 1. 9.    The 
word   is   not   used  in  the  Mishna  in  the  later 
Hebrew  meaning  of  "  mystic  lore."    Rashi's  gloss 
is :   "  Every  place   in  which   the   prophet   com- 



mands,  preaches  and  forewarns  Israel  is  called 
Kabbalah."    See  Taylor,  Pirqe  Avoth,  pp.  120,  flf. 
7  Joel  ii.  1  3. 

2.  When  they  make  ready1  for  prayer,  they  ap- 
point to  officiate2  an  old  man  who  is  conversant  with 
the  prayers,  who  has  sons  and  an  empty  house,8  so 
that  his  whole  attention  may  be  fixed  on  prayer.  He 
recites  before  the  people  the  twenty-four  blessings,  — 
the  eighteen  used  daily,4  together  with  the  six  addi- 
tional ones. 

lit.  "stand."    Cf.  Matt.  vi.  5  ;  Mark  xi.  25  ; 
Luke  xviii.  11,  13  ;  Ber.  V.  i. 

2  mTin  ifob  DHniD  lit.   "  bring    down    before 
the  ark."     The  ark  stood  in  a  low  place,  since 
man  must  pray  in  humility,  after  Ps.  cxxx.  I  : 
"  Out  of  the  depths  have  I  cried  unto  Thee." 

3  A   poor   man.      R.    Hisda   says  :    One   free 
from  sin. 

4  Known  as  the  Shemoneh  Esrah  (m^y  rUDP), 
or  Amidah  (nTDy)  from  the  standing  attitude 
appropriate,  in  Jewish  eyes,  to  prayer  (cf.  Luke 
xviii.  n).     In  the  Mishna  and   earlier  sources 
often  designated  simply  as  Prayer  (nSfin).     For 
history  and  contents  see  Jew.  EncycL  xi.  270-282. 

3.  And  these  additional  ones  are  the  Zikronoth1 
and  the  ShofAroth2  ;  then,  I  will  lift  up  mine  eyes  to 
the  hills,  etc.3  ;  To  God  in  my  distress  I  called,  and 


He  answered  me4 ;  Out  of  the  depths  have  I  called 
to  Thee,  O  Lord5 ;  A  prayer  of  the  afflicted  when  he 
fainteth.6  R.  Jehudah  says :  It  is  not  necessary  to 
say  the  Zikr6noth  and  the  Shofardth,  but  one  can  say 
instead  of  them,  If  there  be  in  the  land  famine,  etc.7 ; 
then,  The  word  of  the  Lord  that  came  to  Jeremiah 
concerning  the  drought8 ;  after  that  the  concluding 
formula  of  the  prayers.9 

1  The  second  section  of  the  Musaf  prayer  for 
New  Year's  day,  healing  of  Divine  remembrance, 
beginning  "  Thou  rememberest  what  was  wrought 
from   eternity  and  art  mindful  of  all  that  hath 
been  formed  from  of  old."    See  Abrahams,  Daily 
Prayer  Book,  pp.  cxcvii.,  fif. 

2  The  third  section  of  the  same  prayer,  treating 
of  Revelation,  in  which   the   Shofar  is   named 
either  literally,  or  figuratively,  when  God  sounds 
it  as  a  call  to  Israel. 

3  Ps.  cxxi.  *  Ps.  cxx.  6  Ps.  cxxx, 
6  Ps.  cii.                  7  I  Kings  viii.  37. 

8  Jer.  xiv. 

9  Decision  is  after  R.  Jehudah  (Maimonides). 

4.  To  the  first  benediction x  he  adds :  May  He 
who  answered  Abraham  in  mount  Moriah2  answer 
you,  and  hearken  to  the  voice  of  your  cry  this  day. 
Blessed  art  Thou,  O  Lord,  Redeemer  of  Israel !  To 
the  second  he  adds :  May  He  who  answered  our 
fathers  at  the  Red  Sea  3  answer  you,  and  hearken  to 

C  2 


the  voice  of  your  cry  this  day.  Blessed  art  Thou,  O 
Lord,  who  rememberest  the  things  that  are  forgotten  ! 
To  the  third  he  adds  :  May  He  who  answered  Joshua 
in  Gilgal 4  answer  you,  and  hearken  to  the  voice  of 
your  cry  this  day.  Blessed  art  Thou,  O  Lord,  who 
hearkenest  to  the  t'ru'Ah  ! 5  To  the  fourth  he  adds  : 
May  He  who  answered  Samuel  in  Mizpah 6  answer 
you,  and  hearken  to  the  voice  of  your  cry  this  day. 
Blessed  art  Thou,  O  Lord,  that  nearest  (our)  cry ! 
To  the  fifth  he  adds  :  May  He  who  answered  Elijah 
in  mount  Carmel 7  answer  you,  and  hearken  to  the 
voice  of  your  cry  this  day.  Blessed  be  Thou,  O  Lord, 
hearer  of  prayer !  To  the  sixth  he  adds  :  May  He 
who  answered  Jonah  in  the  fish's  belly  8  answer  you, 
and  hearken  to  the  voice  of  your  cry  this  day.  Blessed 
art  Thou,  O  Lord,  who  answerest  in  the  time  of  dis- 
tress !  To  the  seventh 9  he  adds :  May  He  who 
answered  David  and  Solomon,  his  son,  in  Jerusalem 
answer  you,  and  hearken  .to  the  voice  of  your  cry  this 
day.  Blessed  be  Thou,  O  Lord,  who  hast  compassion 
on  the  earth ! 

1  The  first  in  the  Amidah  in  which  the  inter- 
polations   are   introduced.      It    is   the   seventh, 
beginning  "  Look  upon  our  affliction  "  (ir'Oya  ilKI), 
See  Abrahams,  op.  cit.,  pp.  Ixii.,  f. 

2  Gen.  xxii.  12,  ff.   3Cf.  Exod.  iii.  16.   4Josh.  v.  9. 

5  The  blowing  of  a  rapid  succession  of  three 
notes  on  the  Shofar.  See  my  note  on  Succah 
IV.  9. 


6  I  Sam.  vii.  9.  7 1  Kings  xviii.  37,  ff. 

8  Jonah  ii.  2. 

9  "  Although  but  six  additional  blessings  are  to 
be  said  on  these  fast-days,  yet  this  is  called  the 
seventh,  in  respect  of  its  being  the  seventh  bless- 
ing in  which  additional  matter  is  introduced  ;  for 
the  first  blessing  ending  '  Redeemer  of  Israel,'  is 
one  of  the  eighteen  blessings  of  the  daily  Amida  " 
(De    Sola).     See   note    i    above.     The   Gemara 
explains  the  reason  for  Jonah  being  mentioned 
before  Solomon  and  David,  because  the  benedic- 
tion to  the  seventh  must  conclude  with  "  Blessed 
be  Thou,  O  Lord,  who  had  compassion  on  the 
earth "    (Taan.    170),   for   David   and   Solomon 
prayed  for  the  land  of  Israel  (2  Sam.  xxi.  I  ; 
i  Kings  iii.  37).     Symmachos  b.  Joseph  said  that 
the   benediction   ended    "  Blessed    be    He   who 
humbles   the    proud," — referring    to    Solomon's 
building  of  the  Temple  (i  Kings  viii.  13),  and  to 
David's  numbering  of  the  people  (cf.  Ps.  cii.  13). 

5.  There  is  a  story  that  in  the  days  of  R.  Halafta1 
and  R.  Hanania  b.  Teradion2  that  a  minister  officiated3 
and  finished  the  whole  of  the  blessing  without  the 
people  answering  after  him  Amen.4  He  called  out, 
Sound  the  trumpets,  O  priests.  They  sounded  them. 
He  continued,  May  He  who  answered  Abraham,  our 
father,  in  mount  Moriah  answer  you,  and  hearken  to 
the  voice  of  your  cry  this  day.  Then  he  said,  Sound 


the  tru'ah,  ye  sons  of  Aaron.  They  did  so,  and  he 
continued,  May  He  who  answered  our  fathers  at  the 
Red  Sea  answer  you,  and  hearken  to  the  voice  of 
your  cry  this  day.  And  when  this  came  to  the 
knowledge  of  the  sages  they  said,  It  was  not  our 
custom  to  do  so,  except  at  the  eastern  gate  and  on 
the  Temple  mount.6 

1A  tanna  of  the  second  generation  and  the 
father  of  R.  Jose.  He  was,  according  to  Jer. 
Taan.  IV.  2,  a  descendant  of  Jonadab  b.  Rechab, 
and  was  head  of  a  school  in  Sepphoris,  living 
there  to  an  advanced  age  (Tos.  Kelim). 

2  A  tanna  of  the  second  generation,  head  of  a 
school  in  Siknin  (San.  32^).     A  famous  saying 
of  his  is  :  "  Two  that  sit  together  and  are  occupied 
in  the  words  of  the  Torah  have  the  Shekinah 
amongst  them  "  (Aboth  III.  3).  He  was  martyred 
in  the  Hadrianic  persecution. 

3  rDYin  vsh  13J?    the    regular   expression   for 
officiating  at  the  prayers,  since  the  leader  stepped 
in  front  of  the  ark  wherein  lay  the  scrolls  of  the 
Law.     R.  H.  IV.  7 ;  Meg.  IV.  3,  at. 

4Cf.  Deut.  xxvii.  15,  ff;  Neh.  viii.  6  ;  I  Chron. 
xvi.  36 ;  Tobit  viii.  8  ;  i  Cor.  xiv.  16.  What 
they  said  was :  "  Blessed  be  the  name  of  his 
glorious  Kingdom  for  ever  and  ever,"  the  response 
made  in  the  Temple  (Tos.  I.  13),  where  alone  the 
sacred  name  was  pronounced. 

5  Decision  after  the  sages  (Maimonides). 


6.  On  the  three  first  fasts  the  divisions  of  priests 
on  duty1  fast,  but  not  the  whole  day  ;  whilst  the 
division  in  charge  of  the  services2  do  not  fast  at  all. 
On  the  second  three  fasts  the  division  of  priests  on 
duty  fast  completely  ;  whilst  the  division  in  charge  of 
the  services  fast,  but  not  the  whole  day.  On  the  last 
seven  fasts  both  classes  fast  completely.  Such  is  the 
opinion  of  R.  Joshua3  :  but  the  sages  say  that  on  the 
first  three  fasts  neither  class  fasts  at  all  :  on  the 
second  three  the  division  of  priests  on  duty  fast,  but 
not  the  whole  day  ;  whilst  the  division  in  charge  of 
the  services  do  not  fast  at  all  :  on  the  last  seven  the 
division  of  priests  on  duty  fast  completely,  but  the 
division  in  charge  of  the  services  fast,  but  not  the 
whole  day.4 

The  priests  were  divided  into 
twenty-four  divisions  (JTftDtPQ)  each  of  which  took 
a  week's  duty  in  the  Temple.  Cf.  Luke  i.  $ 
(t£  e<f>rjfjL€pLa<s  'AySta)  :  and  note  on  Sukkah 
V.  6. 

2  3N  JV2  ^JK     Each  division  was  subdivided 
into  seven,  a  subdivision  being  called  a  3K  JT3 
and  officiating  one  day  in  the  week  after  a  regular 
order.     See  Schiirer,  op.  cit,  i.  216,  fif. 

3  See  note  3  on  I.  i. 

4  Decision  after  the  sages  (Maimonides). 

7.     The  division  of  priests  on  duty  are  permitted 
to  drink  wine  at  night,  but  not  in  the  day  ;  the  division 


in  charge  of  the  services  neither  by  night  nor  by 
day.1  The  division  of  priests  on  duty  and  the 
standing  men  2  are  forbidden  to  shave,  and  to  wash 
their  linen  ;  but  on  the  fifth  day  they  are  allowed 
to  do  so  on  account  of  the  respect  due  to  the 

1  See  Tos.  II.  2,  3.    The  regulations  are  general, 
and  do  not  relate  only  to  the  fasts. 

2  "icyo  IB>:N  were   the   staff  attached    to    the 

in  Jerusalem.     See  below  IV.  2. 

8.  Wherever  it  is  written  in  the  Roll  of  Fasts1 
that  no  mourning  is  to  be  made  on  a  certain  day,  it 
is  also  prohibited  on  the  day  before,  but  allowed  the 
day  after.  R.  Jose  2  says,  Both  before  and  after  it  is 
prohibited.  And  where  it  is  said  that  no  fasts  are  to 
be  kept  on  a  certain  day,  it  is  allowed  to  fast  on 
the  day  before  and  the  day  after.  R.  Jose  says, 
It  is  forbidden  on  the  day  before,  but  allowed 
the  day  after. 

1  rpjyn  n^JD  was  a  book  containing*  a  list  of 
memorial  days  of  joyous  events  on  which  fasting 
was  forbidden.  The  book,  as  we  have  it, 
is  composed  partly  in  Aramaic,  partly  in 
Hebrew  ;  and  it  is  divided  into  twelve  chapters, 
each  chapter  dealing  with  the  days  of  a  single 

2b.  Halafta  (II.  5).  One  of  R.  Akiba's  five 
famous  pupils.  See  Hyman,  op.  cit,  ii.  705-713  : 


and  the  reff.  in  Biichler's  "  Political  and  Social 
Leaders  of  the  Jewish  Community  of  Sepphoris 
in  the  Second  and  Third  Centuries." 

9.  A  public  fast  is  not  decreed  to  commence  on 
the  fifth  day  of  the  week,  in  order  not  to  cause  a  rise 
of  prices  on  the  market  ;  but  the  three  first  fasts  are 
on  the  second,  the  fifth,  and  the  following   second 
day  ;    and   the  second  three  fasts  on  the   fifth,   the 
second,  and  the  following  fifth  day.1     R.  Jose  says : 
As  the  first  fasts  do  not  begin  on  the  fifth  day,  so  the 
second  and  the  last  fasts  do  not.2 

1  Cf.  Didache  viii. :    At  Se  z^oTetat  v 
€<rT(ocrav   /zero,    TMV    viroKpirtov 

yap  Sevrepo,  craft f3dT(ov  /cat  irefJUTTy  u/xet?  8e 
vrjo-revcrare  rer/oaSa  /cat  Trapaa-Kevijv. 

2  Decision  not  after  R.  Jose  (Maimonides). 

10.  A  public  fast  is  not  decreed  on  the  feast  of 
New   Moon,   nor    on    the    feast   of  the    Dedication, 
nor  on  Purim  :  but  if  they  have  begun  one  on  these 
occasions  they  do  not  break  it  off,  according  to  the 
opinion   of  Rabban   Gamaliel.     R.    Meir  says   that 
although  Rabban  Gamaliel  says  that   they   do   not 
break  it  off,  yet  he  acknowledges  that  they  do  not 
fast  the  whole  day  ;  and  so  with  the  ninth  of  Ab, 
when  it  happens  to  fall  on  a  Friday.1 

1  Decision  not  after  R.  Meir  (Maimonides). 



1.  The  order  of  these  fasts  already  mentioned  l 
has  reference  only  to  the  failure  of  the  first  rainfall  :2 
but   should   the   sprouts   degenerate,  then  they  im- 
mediately sound  an  alarm  for  them.     And  if  there 
be  an  interval  of  forty  days  between  the  rains  they 
sound  an  alarm  for  them,3  because  it  is  a  calamity 
which  will  produce  dearth. 

1  Mishna  I.  5-7. 

2njW  lit.  "fructification."  "Why  is  rain 
called  nyoi  ?  Because  it  fructifies  (y3"i)  the 
ground  "  (Taan.  6£). 

3  In  the  Munich  MSS.  there  is  added  "  im- 
mediately "  (TD). 

2.  If  the  rains  come  down  sufficiently  for  plants 
but  not  for  trees  ;  or  for  trees  but  not  for  plants  ;  or 
copiously  enough  for  both,  but  not  sufficiently  to  fill 
pits,  ditches  and  caves,  they  immediately  sound  an 
alarm  for  them. 

3.  And  so  of  any  city  on  which  the  rains  have  not 
fallen,  as  it  is  written,  And  I  caused  it  to  rain  upon 
one  city,  and  caused  it  not  to  rain  upon  another  city ; 
one  piece  was  rained  upon,  and  the  piece  whereupon 
it   rained   not    withered,1 — that   city   must   fast   and 
sound  the  alarm ;   and  all  the  places   round   about 
must  fast  but  not  sound  the  alarm.     R.  Akiba2  says : 
They  must  sound  the  alarm  but  not  fast. 


1  Amos  iv.  7. 

2  b.  Joseph.     Flourished  c.  110-135   A.D.      He 
favoured  the  cause  of  Barcochba  and  was  put 
to  death.     As  to  his  methods  of  exegesis  Bacher 
says  :  "  He  had  the  art  of  deducing  halachoth 
from  every  jot  of  the  Law."     Our  present  Mishna 
is  founded  on  his  codification  of  the  Halachah. 
His  famous  sayings  are  given  in  Aboth  III.  19-25. 
It  is  said  of  him  in  Jer.  Sota  IX.  10  :     "  There 
arose    no    famous    scholar    (irOPN-=U  ^ntP  PW 
before   R.  Akiba,   and   the   springs   of  wisdom 
ceased  with  him."     See  Jew.  Encycl.  i.  304-310: 
Hyman,  op.  cit.,  iii.  988-1008. 

4.  And  so  in  a  city  wherein  is  pestilence,  or 
a  ruined  building,1  that  city  must  fast  and  sound  the 
alarm  ;  and  all  the  places  round  about  must  fast  but 
not  sound  the  alarm.  R.  Akiba  says  :  They  must 
sound  the  alarm  but  not  fast.  What  is  a  pestilence  ? 
When  in  a  city,  capable  of  bringing  forth  five 
hundred  able-bodied  men,2  three  people  die  in  three 
consecutive  days,  this  is  a  pestilence  ;  but  less  than 
this  is  not  a  pestilence.3 

Cf.  Ber.  3«,  "One  must  not  enter 
a  ruined  building  for  prayer  because  it  may 
fall  in." 

2  ^n  lit.  "  footman."  "  Women,  children  and 
old  men  past  work  are  excluded  "  (Maimonides, 
Hil.  Taan.  II.  5). 


3  The  following  illustration  is  given  in  the 
Gemara  :  "  A  town  like  Ptolemais,  which  can 
furnish  fifteen  hundred  men  and  three  deaths 
occur  on  each  of  three  consecutive  days,  is  said 
to  be  afflicted  with  pestilence  ;  but  if  all  the 
deaths  occurred  on  a  single  day  or  in  four  days, 
it  is  not  said  to  be  afflicted  with  pestilence." 

5.  For  these  things  they  sound  the  alarm  in  every 
place, — for  blasting   and    mildew,    for    locusts    and 
caterpillars,    for   evil   wild   beasts,1   and    for    armies 
passing  through  the  country ; 2  for  these  they  sound 
the  alarm  since   they   are   calamities   which   spread 

1  If  they   appear   in  the  daytime  in  a  town. 
See  the  following  Mishna. 

2  Even  if  they  be  friendly  armies.     See  Tos. 
II.  10,  and  Maimonides  Hil.  Taan.  II.  4  ("Armies 
passing  through  the  land  of  Israel,  even  if  there 
be  no  war  between  them  and  Israel,  are  a  cause 
of  distress  ").     Rashi,  however,  thinks  the  refer- 
ence to  be  to  hostile  armies  only. 

6.  There  is  a  story  that  some  elders l  went  down 
from  Jerusalem  to  their  own  cities,  and  decreed  a 
fast,  because  there  had  been  seen  in  Ascalon  a  blast- 
ing of  such  size  as  would  cover  an  oven's  mouth.2 
And   they  also  decreed  a  fast  because  wolves  had 
devoured  two  childre'n  beyond  Jordan.    R.  Jose  says  : 

It  was  not  because   they  had   devoured   them,   but 
because  they  were  seen  (in  the  towns). 

1  Qijpj  =  npecrfivTepoi,  (cf.  Mk.  xi.  27)  denotes 
generally  the  members  of  the  Sanhedrim  ;  but 
is  also  used  of  those  members  who  were  neither 

2TUn  '•S  xSoD.  The  simplest  explanation 
seems  to  be  :  a  place  on  the  ground  whose 
dimensions  were  only  the  size  of  an  oven's  mouth 
(Maimonides).  See  Lund,  however. 

7.  For  these  things  do  they  sound  the  alarm  even 
on  Sabbath,  —  for  a  city  encompassed  by  enemies  or 
by  a  flood  ;  for  a  ship  in  danger  by  being  tossed 
about  on  the  sea.  R.  Jose  says  :  It  is  sounded  to 
obtain  help  from  men,  not  for  prayer  to  God.  Simeon 
the  Temanite  l  says  :  Even  for  a  pestilence  (shall 
they  sound  the  alarm  on  Sabbath).  But  the  sages 
did  not  agree  with  him  in  this  opinion.2 

1  A  tanna  of  the  second  generation,  so  called 
because  he  came  from  Teman,  a  district  in  the 
north  of  Edom  (cf.  Ezek.  xxv.  13).    See  Frankel, 
N13D  p.  n"'p. 

2  The  opinions  of  R.  Jose  and  of  Simeon  are 
not  to  be  followed.     They  only  fast  for  a  pesti- 
lence, not  sound  an  alarm  ;  and  one  can  cry  to 
God  and  fast  without  sounding  an  alarm  for  the 
dangers  mentioned  (Maimonides). 


8.  For  every  plague  (may  it  not  befall  the  con- 
gregation ! )  they  sound  the  alarm,  except  for  a 
superabundance  of  rain.1  There  is  a  story  that  they 
said  to  Honi,2  the  circle  drawer,  Pray  that  the  rains 
may  come  down.  He  said  to  them,  Go  out  and 
collect  the  Passover  ovens,3  that  they  may  not  be 
softened.  He  prayed,  but  the  rains  did  not  come 
down.  What  did  he  do?  He  drew  a  circle,4  and 
stood  in  the  middle  of  it,  and  prayed  :  O  Lord  of  the 
universe,  thy  children  have  looked  to  me,  since  I  am 
accounted  by  them  a  favourite  of  thine  ;  I  swear  by 
thy  great  Name  that  I  will  not  move  hence  till  Thou 
have  pity  on  thy  children.  The  rains  began  to 
trickle.  He  said,  This  was  not  what  I  asked  Thee 
for,  but  for  enough  to  fill  wells,  cisterns,  and  caves. 
They  then  fell  with  vehemence.  He  said,  This  was 
not  what  I  asked  Thee  for,  but  for  favourable  rains, 
bringing  blessing  and  good  gifts.  They  then  came 
down  in  their  usual  manner,  until  the  Israelites  had 
to  go  up  from  Jerusalem  to  the  Temple-mount 
because  of  the  rains.  They  came  and  said  to  him, 
As  thou  didst  pray  for  the  rains  to  come  down,  so 
pray  that  they  may  cease.  He  said  to  them,  Go  and 
see  if  the  Stone  of  Losers 5  is  covered  up  by  the 
waters.  Simeon  b.  Shatah  6  sent  to  him  and  said,  If 
thou  wert  not  Honi  I  would  decree  excommunication 
against  thee  ;  but  what  can  I  do  to  thee  ?  for  thou 
comest  petulantly  before  God,7  like  a  child  who  lords 
it  over  his  father,  and  yet  he  does  after  the  child's 
will.  To  thee  may  be  applied  the  text,  Thy  father 


and  mother  shall  rejoice,  and  she  who  bare  thee  shall 


1 R.  Johanan  says  the  reason  is  because  it  is 
not  allowed  to  pray  for  the  cessation  of  too  much 
good.  The  Mishna  applies  to  Israel  only  where 
as  Maimonides  says  (Hil.  Taan.  II.  15)  the  land 
is  mountainous  and  the  houses  built  of  stone,  and 
so  there  can  hardly  be  too  much  rain.  In  Baby- 
lon, on  the  other  hand,  the  alarm  is  sounded  for 
excess  (Taan.  22$). 

2  ^in  =  'CWag.     A  miracle-worker  of  the  first 
century  B.C.     It  is  related  of  him  that  whenever 
he  entered  the  Temple  court  it  used  to  shine,  and 
that  he  slept  for  seventy  years  in  a  cave  (Jer. 
Taan.,  trans.  Greenup,  p.  91).     The  story  of  his 
death  is  narrated  in  Josephus,  Antiq.  xiv.  2,  I 
(Whiston's  trans.,  p.  299). 

3  The  ovens  used  to  roast  the  paschal  lamb, 
which   were   generally   made   of  clay  and  kept 
outside  the  house  when  not  in  use. 

*A  common  practice  with  magicians.  Some 
commentators  explain  the  phrase  miy  Jj;  to  mean 
that  he  dug  out  a  circular  trench  and  placed 
himself  in  it  that  it  might  appear  as  if  he  were 
sitting  in  prison. 

5  D^jflBn  px  A  very  high  stone  in  Jerusalem 
on  which  were  deposited  lost  articles.  The  finder 
caused  proclamation  to  be  made  in  the  city 
TINVD  n^YD,  so  that  the  loser  might  claim  the 


6  Lived  in  the  time  of  King  Jannaeus  and  Queen 
Alexandra.  He  was  one  of  the  most  formidable 
opponents  of  magic,  and  at  one  time  executed 
eighty  women  who  were  guilty  of  its  practice 
(San.  44#).  He  was  instrumental  in  establishing 
popular  schools  throughout  Judaea,  and  in  restrict- 
ing the  number  of  divorces  (Yer.  Kat.  32^). 

7D1pDn  "The  Omnipresence,"  an  epithet  de- 
scriptive of  God,  who  is  Absolute  Space  (Gen. 
R.  Ixviii.).  Cf.  Philo,  De  Somnns,  ed.  Mangey,  i., 
p.  630. 

8  Prov.  xxiii.  25. 

9.  Should  the  rains  come  down  before  sunrise 
whilst  they  are  fasting,  they  shall  not  complete  the 
fast ;  but  if  after  sunrise,  they  shall  complete  it. 
R.  Eliezer  says  :  If  the  rains  come  down  before  noon 
they  shall  not  complete  the  fast ;  but  if  after  they 
shall  complete  it.1  There  is  a  story  that  a  fast  was 
decreed  at  Lydda,  and  the  rains  came  down  before 
noon.  R.  Tarphon  z  said  to  the  people.  Go  out,  eat 
and  drink,  and  make  a  feast  day.  So  they  went  out, 
ate  and  drank,  and  made  a  feast  day ;  and  in  the 
afternoon  they  returned  and  recited  the  great  Hallel.3 

1  Decision  is  after  R.  Eliezer  (Maimonides). 

2  A  contemporary  of  R.  Akiba,  and  possibly 
to  be  identified  with  the  Try  pho  of  Justin  Martyr. 
He  states  that  he  officiated  in  the  Temple  (Jer. 
Yoma  III.  7),  and  told  Justin  that  he  had  fled 

from  Palestine  on  account  of  the  war  (Dial.  c. 
Trypho,  c.  i.).  A  famous  saying  of  his,  remind- 
ing us  of  the  Parable  of  the  Vineyard  (Matt  xx. 
i,  ff.),  is  :  "The  day  is  short,  the  task  great,  the 
labourers  idle,  the  reward  great,  and  the  Master 
of  the  house  urgent  "  (Aboth  II.  19).  He  is  said 
to  have  favoured  the  views  of  the  House  of 
Shammai ;  and,  on  account  of  his  learning,  was 
called  "  the  teacher  of  Israel."  See  Hyman,  op. 
cit,  ii.  pp.  524,  ff. 

3  Ps.  cxxxvi.  So  called  to  distinguish  it  from 
the  Hallel,  Pss.  cxiii.-cxviii. ;  but  Pss.  cxx.-cxxxvi. 
and  Pss.  cxxxv.  4  -  cxxxvi.  also  were  called 
"Great  Hallel."  In  the  Gemara  2$b  the 
question  is  asked  why  they  should  not  have 
recited  before  and  not  after  their  return,  and 
the  answer  given  is :  "  Hallel  is  not  recited 
save  with  a  satisfied  soul  and  a  full  stomach  " 
.(nxSo  Dim  nya»  B»SJ  hy  N^N  ^n  oncix  ]•>«) 
See  Box's  article  in  Hastings'  Diet.  Christ  and 
Gospels^  s.v.  Hallel. 


I.  Three  times  a  year  do  the  priests  lift  up  their 
hands  (in  the  priestly  blessing),1  four  times  on  one 
day  at  the  morning  prayers,  at  the  additional  prayers, 
at  the  afternoon  prayers,  and  at  the  closing  prayers.2 
And  these  three  times  are,  on  the  fast  days,  on 


the  fast  of  the  standing-men,3  and  on  the  Day  of 

1  Num.  vi.  24-26. 

2  onyp  n^yj  lit.  "  the  closing  of  the  gates  " — 
hence  the  prayer  called  N'ilah.     The  reference  is 
to  the  closing  of  the  Temple  gates,  though  Rab 
says  it  means  the  closing  of  the  gates  of  heaven, 
i.e.  when  darkness  comes.     See  the  discussion  in 
Jer.  Ber.  IV.  7. 

3  See  below,  IV.  2,  3. 

2.  This  is  the  origin  of  the  ma'amadoth.1  It  is 
written,  Command  the  children  of  Israel  and  say 
unto  them,  My  offering,  my  bread.2  But  how  can  a 
man's  offering  be  presented  if  he  stand  not  by  it? 
So  the  former  prophets3  instituted  twenty-four  guards 
(mishmaroth)  ;  and  corresponding  to  each  guard  was 
a  post  (ma'amad)  of  priests,  Levites,  and  Israelites 
stationed  in  Jerusalem.  When  the  time  came  that  a 
guard  should  go  up  to  Jerusalem,  the  priests  and 
Levites  belonging  to  it  went  up,  whilst  the  Israelites 
who  belonged  to  that  guard4  assembled  themselves  in 
their  cities  to  read  the  story  of  creation.5 

1nnoj;o  "stations,"  or  "posts."  The  people, 
like  the  priests  and  the  Levites,  were  divided 
into  twenty-four  courses  (nnDIPD),  representatives 
of  which  took  their  turn  every  day  for  a  week  to 
stand  by  whilst  the  daily  sacrifice  was  being 
offered.  See  Tos.  IV.  2.  In  Tamid  V.  6  it  is  as- 


sumed  that  the  "  head  of  the  station  "  noyon  t?tn> 
was  always  present  in  Jerusalem. 

2  Num.  xxviii.  2. 

3  David  and  Samuel. 

*  And  who  were  not  able  to  go  up  to  Jerusalem. 

5  To  remind  them  that  the  world  was  estab- 
lished for  the  sake  of  worship. 

3.  [The  standing-men  were  fasting  four  days  in 
the  week,  from  the  second  to  the  fifth  day ;  but  they 
did  not  fast  on  the  eve  of  Sabbath  on  account  of  the 
honour  due  to  the  Sabbath,  nor  on  the  Sabbath  itself, 
so  that  they  should  not  pass  from  rest  and  enjoy- 
ment to  labour  and  fasting,  and  so  run  the  danger  of 
death.]1  On  the  first  day  they  read  the  sections  of 
Scripture  n^Ki3  and  jppn  'iT  ;  on  the  second  jppn  W 
and  D^cn  llp^i ;  on  the  third  D^DH  llp^  and  nniHD  Tn  ', 
on  the  fourth  nniKD  TP  and  D^an  ivi^l ;  on  the  fifth 
onsn  imisp  and  p«n  Niwii ;  on  the  sixth  pxn  NYin 
and  D^QPn  iS^I.2  A  long  section  was  read  by  two 
persons,  a  short  one  by  one,  in  the  morning  and 
additional  prayers  ;  but  at  the  afternoon  prayers  they 
assemble  and  recite  the  passages  by  heart3  as  they  do 
the  Shema.4  On  Friday  they  do  not  assemble  at  the 
afternoon  prayers  on  account  of  the  honour  due  to 
the  Sabbath. 

1  The  passage  in  brackets  is  omitted  in  many 
MSS.,  including  the  Cambridge  MS.  add.  470,  I 


(ed.  Lowe)  and  both  Munich  MSS.,  and  in  some 
of  the  printed  editions.  It  is  not  in  the  Jerusalem 

2  These  passages  are  in  Gen.  i.  I  —  ii.  4. 

3  The  reciting  by  heart   is  here  mentioned  as 
an  exception,  the  rule  being  that  the  Torah  must 
be  read  from  its  scroll  (cf.  Meg.  II.  I,  in  respect 
to  the  book  of  Esther). 

4  The  Shema  consists  of  Deut.  vi.  4-9,  xi.  13-21, 
Num.  xv.  37-41,  and  obtains  its  name  from  the 
opening  words  h^W  yetp,  cf.  Mark  xii.  29.     It 
is   not   a   prayer,   properly   so   speaking,  but  a 
confession  of  belief,  and  so  the  reciting   of  it 
(yep  nNnp)  is  spoken  of,  a  custom  attributed  by 
Josephus  (Antiq.  iv.  8,  13  :   Whiston,  p.  96)  to 
the    command    of    Moses.      See    Vitringa,    De 
Synagoga,  pp.  1052-1061. 

4.  Every  day  on  which  the  Hallel1  is  sung  there 
is  no  attendance  at  morning  prayer  by  the  standing- 
men.  When  there  was  an  additional  offering  they 
were  not  in  attendance  at  the  closing  prayers.  When 
there  was  a  wood  offering2  they  were  not  in  attendance 
at  afternoon  prayers.  These  are  the  words  of  R. 
Akiba  ;  but  Ben  Azzai3  said  to  him,  Thus  was  R. 
Joshua  teaching  :  When  there  was  an  additional  offer- 
ing they  were  not  in  attendance  at  afternoon  prayers  ; 
when  a  wood  offering,  not  at  the  closing  prayers. 
R.  Akiba  changed  his  view,  and  taught  like  Ben  Azzai. 


1  Pss.    113-118.      See   note   on   III.  9.      The 
Hallel  was  sung  on  Passover  night,  on  Pentecost, 
on  the  Feast  of  Tabernacles,  and  on  the  eight 
days  of  Hanukah  (Tos.  Succ.  III.  2). 

2  See  below  IV.  5. 

3  A  tanna  of  the  second  generation,  his  full 
name   being    Simeon   b.   Azzai.     According  to 
Hag.  14^  he  was  one  of  four  men  who  "went  up 
into  Paradise,"  i.e.  indulged  in  speculative  philo- 
sophy, with  disastrous  results  in  the  case  of  all 
but  Akiba,  who  "went  into  Paradise  in  peace 
and  came  down  in  peace."     See  Jew.  EncycL  ii. 
672,  f. ;  Taylor,  op.  cit,  p.  79  n.  5. 

5.  Nine  days  are  appointed  for  the  priests  and 
the  people  to  bring  wood  for  the  altar.  On  the  first  of 
Nisan  the  family  of  Arah  b.  Jehudah1  bring  it ;  on  the 
twentieth  of  Tamrnuz  the  family  of  David  b.  Jehudah2 ; 
on  the  fifth  of  Ab  the  family  of  Perosh  b.  Jehudah3 ; 
on  the  seventh  the  family  of  Jonadab  b.  Rechab4 ;  on 
the  tenth  the  family  of  Sinah  b.  Benjamin5 ;  on  the 
fifteenth  the  family  of  Zatu  b.  Jehudah,6  and  with 
them  the  priests  and  Levites  who  had  forgotten  from 
which  tribe  they  were  descended,  and  also  the  family 
of  Gonebe  Eli7  and  that  of  Kotsi  Ketsioth8 ;  on  the 
twentieth  the  family  of  Pahath  Moab  b.  Jehudah9 ;  on 
the  twentieth  of  Elul  the  family  of  Adin  b.  Jehudah  ; 
on  the  first  of  Tebeth  the  family  of  Perosh  for  the 
second  time.  On  the  first  of  Tebeth  there  was  no 


attendance  of  the  standing-men,  for  then  the  Hallel 
was  sung  and  there  was  an  additional  offering  and  a 
wood  offering. 

1  Cf.  Ezra  ii.  5  ;  Neh.  vii.  10.       2  Cf.  Ezra  viii.  2. 

8  Cf.   Ezra  ii.  3,  viii.  3,   x.  25  ;    Neh.  iii.  25, 
vii.  8,  x.  15. 

4  Cf.  2  Kings  x.  15,  23  ;  Jer.  xxxv.  8  ;  I  Chron. 
ii.  55- 

5  Cf.  Ezra  ii.  35  ;  Neh.  iii.  3,  vii.  38. 

•  Cf.  Ezra  ii.  8,  x.  27 ;  Neh.  vii.  13,  x.  15. 
78   See  Tos.    IV.   7   where  these  names  are 
explained  (as  in  Taan.  280 ;  Jer.  Taan.  IV.  4). 

9  Cf.  Ezra  ii.  6,  viii.  4,  x.  30 ;  Neh.  iii.  1 1,  vii.  1 1, 
x.  15. 

10  Cf.  Ezra  ii.  15,  viii.  6;   Neh.  vii.  20,  x.  17. 
It  may  be  noted  that  the  wood  of  the  olive  and 
that  of  the  vine  were  not  allowed  to  be  brought 
(Tamid  II.  3).     In  the  Book  of  Jubilees  xxi.  12 
it   is   forbidden  to  bring  any  other  but  these 
woods:  cypress,   bay,  almond,   fir,   pine,   cedar, 
savin,  fig,  olive,  myrrh,  laurel,  aspalathus. 

6.  Five  calamities  befell  our  fathers  on  the  seven- 
teenth of  Tammuz,  and  five  on  the  ninth  of  Ab.  On 
the  former  the  tables  of  the  Law  were  broken,1  the 
daily  offerings  ceased,*  and  the  City  was  broken  into, 
Apostomos8  burnt  the  Torah  and  set  up  an  image  in 
the  Temple.  On  the  latter  it  was  decreed  that  our 


fathers  should  not  enter  Palestine,4  the  first  and  second 
Temples  were  destroyed,  Bethar6  was  captured,  and 
the  City  was  ploughed  over.6  From  the  time  when 
Ab  begins  rejoicing  must  be  lessened. 

1  This  is  deduced  from  Exod.  xxiv.  16,  where 
by  the  seventh  day  is  to  be  understood  the 
seventh  of  Sivan,  when  the  ten  commandments 
were  given.  As  Moses  was  on  the  mount  for 
forty  days  (ib.  xxiv.  18),  he  would  descend  on  the 
seventeenth  of  Tammuz,  when  he  broke  the 
tables  (Taan.  28^). 

z  Josephus,  Bell.  Jud.  VI.  2, 1  ( Whiston,  p.  598). 
Cf.  Dan.  viii.  11-13  »  x'«  31  »  x"-  !I>  w^tn  Driver's 
notes  ad  loc. 

8  His  identity  is  unknown.  Kohler  suggests 
that  D1DBD12N  may  be  a  corruption  of  DUEBDN,  a 
Hebraized  form  of  Stephanos,  the  name,  given 
by  Josephus,  of  the  soldier  who  burned  the  scroll 
of  the  Law.  Jastrow  thinks  it  may  be  a  popular 
corruption  of  aTroerroXo?,  cf.  2  Mace.  vi.  I  (Lex. 
p.  101).  Ginzberg  identifies  him  with  Antiochus 
Epiphanes,  "of  whom,  moreover,  it  is  known 
also,  from  other  sources,  that  he  set  up  an  idol 
in  the  Temple." 

4  Num.  xiv.  i,  ft. 

6  A  large  city  in  Benjamin,  near  Jerusalem 
(Eusebius,  Hist.  IV.  6). 

6  Cf.  Jer.  xxvi.  18  ;  Micah  iii.  12. 


7.  During  the  week  in  which  the  ninth  of  Ab  falls 
it  is  forbidden  to  shave  and  to  wash  one's  clothes  ;  but 
on  the  fifth  day  these  are  allowed  on  account  of  the 
honour  due  to  the  Sabbath.  On  the  day  preceding 
the  ninth  of  Ab  no  one  may  eat  two  dishes,  nor  eat 
flesh,  nor  drink  wine.  Rabban  Simeon  b.  Gamaliel l 
says  that  it  is  enough  to  alter  somewhat  one's  ordinary 
way  of  living.  R.  Jehudah  2  says  that  it  is  obligatory 
to  place  the  mattresses  on  the  floor 3  ;  but  the  sages 
do  not  agree  with  him.4 

1  Grandson  of  Rabban  Gamaliel  I.  (Acts  v.  34). 
Simeon  was  a  tanna  of  the  third  generation  and 
father  of  Jehudah  ha-Nasi.  He  escaped  from 
Bethar  in  Bar-Cochba's  revolt,  and  after  the 
death  of  Hadrian  became  head  of  the  academy 
at  Jamnia.  He  was  noted  for  his  wide  learning 
in  science  and  philosophy.  A  famous  saying 
of  his  is  :  "  On  three  things  the  world  stands, — 
Judgment,  Truth,  and  Peace  "  (Aboth  1. 19).  See 
Hyman,  op.  cit.,  iii.,  pp.  1163-1171. 

2b.  Ilai'.  A  tanna  of  the  third  generation,  and 
a  pupil  of  R.  Akiba.  In  the  Mishna  he  is  called 
simply  R.  Jehudah,  and  must  not  be  confused 
with  R.  Jehudah  ha-Nasi  who  is  there  called 
Rabbi.  His  eloquence  gained  for  him  the  title 
of  "  Chief  of  the  Speakers  "  (Dnnon  »m). 
Contrary  to  the  edict  of  Hadrian  he  was  ordained, 
and  had  to  flee  the  country,  returning  after  three 
years  to  Usha,  where  he  attained  a  prominent 
position.  As  an  expounder  of  the  Law  his 


opinions  carried  great  weight.  Most  of  the  Sifra 
is  attributed  to  him.  He  was  a  man  of  piety  and 
lived  an  ascetic  life,supporting  himself  by  following 
a  trade.  Amongst  his  famous  sayings  are :  "  He 
who  does  not  teach  his  son  a  trade,  teaches  him, 
as  it  were,  robbery  "  (Kid.] ;  "  Labour  is  an 
honour  to  every  man  "  (Ned.  49^).  See  Hyman, 
op.  cit.,  ii.,  pp.  534-542. 

3  As  a  sign  of  mourning,  and  so  sleep  on  the 
ground  (Moed.  Kat.   15^).     See,  however,  Jew. 
Encycl.  ix.  102. 

4  Neither  the  opinion  of  Rabban  Simeon  nor 
that  R.  Jehudah  is  to  be  followed  (Maimonides). 

8.  Rabban  Simeon  b.  Gamaliel  said  :  Israel  had 
no  more  joyous  festivals  than  the  fifteenth  of  Ab1  and 
the  Day  of  Atonement z  ;  for  on  them  the  daughters 
of  Jerusalem  used  to  go  forth  in  white  garments 
which  were  borrowed  so  as  not  to  put  to  shame  those 
who  had  none.  All  the  garments  were  required  to 
be  purified  ;  and  the  daughters  of  Jerusalem  went 
forth  and  danced  in  the  vineyards.  And  what  were 
they  saying?  Young  man,  lift  up  thine  eyes,  and 
consider  well  whom  thou  wilt  choose  for  thyself; 
look  not  on  beauty  only,  but  on  the  family,  for  it  is 

Grace  is  deceitful,  and  beauty  is  vain  ; 

A  woman  that  feareth  Jehovah,  she  shall  be  praised  ; 3 

and  it  is  also  said, 

Give  her  of  the  fruit  of  her  hands  : 

And  let  her  works  praise  her  in  the  gates.4 


And  so  it  says, 

Go  forth,  O  ye  daughters  of  Zion,  and  behold  King  Solomon, 
With  the  crown  wherewith  his  mother  hath  crowned  him 
In  the  day  of  his  espousals, 
And  in  the  day  of  the  gladness  of  his  heart.5 

"  In  the  day  of  his  espousals," — an  allusion  to  the 
promulgation  of  the  Torah  :  "  And  in  the  day  of  the 
gladness  of  his  heart," — when  the  Temple  was  built. 
May  it  speedily  be  rebuilt  in  our  days,  Amen  ! 

1  The  reasons  given  being  that  on  that  day  the 
tribes  were  allowed  to  intermarry  (Num.  xxxvi.  6) ; 
members  of  the  tribe  of  Benjamin  were  allowed 
to  intermarry  with  the  other  tribes  (Judges  xxi. 
15);    the  last  of  those  destined  to   die   in   the 
desert  died,  and  so  God  again  spoke  to  Moses 
(Deut.   ii.    1 6,    17)  ;    the   guards    appointed    by 
Jeroboam  were  abolished  by  Hoshea  b.  Elah  ; 
permission  was  given  to  bury  the  dead  after  the 
battle  of  Bethar  ;  wood  for  the  altar  ceased  to  be 
cut  on  that  day  (Taan.  30$).     The  true  explana- 
tion is  to  be  sought  in  the  fact  that  on  this  day 
all  the  people  took  part  in  the  wood   offering 
(Meg.  Taan.  V.). 

2  Because  it  is  a  day  of  forgiveness  (cf.  Pesikta 
xxiv.  ;  Jer.  Rosh  Hash.  57^),  and  on  that  day 
the  second  tables  of  the  Law  were  said  to  have 
been  given  to  Moses,  and  on  it  the  first  Temple 
was  dedicated. 

3  Prov.  xxxi.  30.     4ib.  xxxi.  31.     6  Cant.  iii.  II. 


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